Windows servers still unchallenged

Despite challenges from Linux, Microsoft will continue to lead the server operating environments (SOE) market, according to a new report from IDC.

According to a recent marketing report by IDC, Microsoft will continue to dominate the desktop operating environments market over the next five years, as well as lead the server operating environments (SOE) market.

Linux is currently the only alternative solution that stands in Microsoft’s way of controlling the server side of the market.

Windows 9X and Windows 2000 Professional are enabling Microsoft to overshadow the competition in the client operating environments (COE) market and, accompanied by next-generation products such as Windows XP, will be a major contributor to Microsoft’s operating environment revenue growth in the future.

‘Windows is expected to dominate the field of client operating environments through 2005,’ said Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of IDC’s System Software. ‘On the server side, during the same time frame, Windows 2000 and Windows .Net Server will help Microsoft extend its lead, but these products will not achieve a dominant position in the industry by shipments or revenues, which is largely due to competition from Linux and Unix.’

IDC defines ‘dominant’ as either more than 50% of the total market share, or more than twice the share of next closest competitor.

During 2000, all Windows operating environments and subsystem sales from Microsoft and third-party suppliers captured 50% of the industry total for client, server, and host operating environments revenue. Through 2005, the Windows operating environments and subsystems market will continue to extend that lead, accounting for over two-thirds of the industry total by 2005.

When measured by new-license shipments, Microsoft’s server operating environments accounted for 41% of the market total, while Linux accounted for 27%. NetWare and combined Unix new license shipments accounted for 13.8% and 13.9%, respectively.

Besides Windows, Linux is the only other server operating environment expected to produce significant new license revenue shipment growth through 2005. Unix new license revenue shipments are forecast to be flat, while NetWare new license revenue shipments are forecast to decline slightly.

Novell, however, could potentially slow, or even reverse that trend, if its strategy for selling NetWare 6 technology in a variety of new form factors is successful.